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Bearly Legal 

Wednesday, Oct 25 2006
Last week, wardens from the California Department of Fish and Game arrested four people who allegedly sold vials of bear bile to undercover officers in Chinatown. Under California law, it is a felony to sell any part of a bear within state borders.

The alleged sale and resulting arrests raise many fascinating questions. Unfortunately, no one from the department was available to answer them. So, in the absence of actual information, please enjoy this fabricated interview:

Sucka Free City: Hi, I got your press release entitled, "DFG Arrests Four Suspects in Chinatown for Selling Vials of Bear Bile," and I'm curious about a few things.

Department of Fish and Game: Shoot.

SFC: How does one go about gathering bear bile?

DFG: Poverty-stricken Alaskan bears are recruited into offshore "bear gross-out labs" located in the Cayman Islands, where they are forced to watch a montage of scenes from The 700 Club, The Brown Bunny, and The View while listening to the Shins until they barf. Their bile is then gathered and tested for potency before being transferred into vials for sale in America.

SFC: Why would anyone want to purchase a vial of bear bile?

DFG: Um, have you ever smelled bear bile?

SFC: No.

DFG: Well, try rubbing some on your pulse points next time you go on a date. It's totally worth $30 a vial. You will get laid.

SFC: What are some other disgusting substances I could buy as an undercover DFG agent?

DFG: I've purchased vials of albatross loogey, dolphin tears, and rhinoceros santorum.

SFC: That's revolting. If the bear entered into his bile-producing contract voluntarily, why is it still a felony to sell the fruits of his labor in California?

DFG: It's a legislative conundrum not unlike prostitution. The practice is morally wrong, but if we legalized it, the bears wouldn't have to depend on unsavory bile-pimps — they'd be empowered to sell their stomach juices without fear of bitch-slapping or profit-sharing.

SFC: Viva the free market.

DFG: Exactly.

About The Author

Frances Reade


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